Draft recap: Fantasy LIVE league results

It's been a great run here during Fantasy Draft Week. We thought it'd only be proper to wrap things up with a recap of the Fantasy LIVE League analysts draft. It's a standard 10-team league that includes all of your favorite on-air fantasy analysts from NFL Fantasy LIVE. Since it's a public league, you can follow along all season right here. Here's how it all went down!

Draft order

  1. Akbar Gbajabiamila - NFL Fantasy LIVE analyst
    1. Elliot Harrison - NFL Fantasy LIVE analyst
    2. Dave Dameshek - NFL Fantasy LIVE analyst
    3. James Koh - NFL Fantasy LIVE host/analyst
    4. Marcas Grant - NFL.com Fantasy Editor/NFL Fantasy LIVE analyst
    5. Adam Rank - NFL.com Fantasy Writer/NFL Fantasy LIVE analyst
    6. Michael Fabiano - NFL.com Senior Fantasy Analyst
    7. Matt "Money" Smith - NFL Fantasy LIVE analyst
    8. Maurice Jones-Drew - Former NFL Running Back & NFL Fantasy LIVE analyst
    9. Alex Gelhar - NFL.com Fantasy Writer/Editor & Podcast Producer


Matt "The Franchise" Franciscovich: There were some whispers around the NFL Media newsroom and here at fantasy headquarters, which we like to refer to as "The Stronghold", that the Fantasy LIVE league would be expanded to 12 teams in order to include myself, and Matt Harmon this season. But alas, Michael Fabiano aka the Commissioner was out of town doing veteran fantasy expert-type things this week, so it didn't happen. But we're here to weigh in on the draft round-by-round.

Matt Harmon: Indeed, we were spurned out of this league. Since I'm the type to take things personally, I promise not to hold back with my thoughts on the ten drafters' picks here. Let's get rolling.

Franchise: Save for Andrew Luck as No. 3 overall, the first round was pretty standard. All of the elite RBs went off the board. I'll say though, I like the early Luck selection. Dameshek might have a nice weekly advantage at QB with the so-called "football god" anchoring his squad.

Harmon: As a believer that this fantasy game we play is a weekly proposition, I'll never be a fan of quarterback in the first round. Obviously Dameshek believes the strength of Luck over the other players from a season-long perspective gives him an edge, but passing up elite wide receivers and running backs can come back to bite you. Personally, my favorite pick of the first round was Gronk at 1.10. He's such a massive trump card at that position, and a no-brainer round 1 value, in my book.

Franchise: Definitely. Gronk is probably the sole player in all of fantasy who can boost your team to victory on a weekly basis. Gelhar made a great choice with the last pick of the first round. On to Round 2!


Harmon: I'll skew positive first. Akbar got such a steal with Murray at the back end of round 2. How does this keep happening? The Eagles have other options in their backfield, but Chip Kelly has the team run so many plays, both Murray and Mathews can hold great value. The community wrote the anti-Murray narrative before the offseason even got started, and smart drafters like Akbar are benefiting.

Franchise: I agree. I think fantasy fans across the land will be able to get great value on Murray in drafts, especially in auction formats where he will come at a major discount, and should still be able to produce as a top-10 RB despite the so-called "decline in carries". But at 20 overall in a snake draft? Wow what a bargain! Interestingly, Koh is stacking up on Packers as he went Lacy, Rodgers. Not a bad strategy at all. And it's no surprise that some elite wideouts came off the board here, as well as guys like Hill and Anderson since it's a standard-scoring league. But McCoy in the second round might raise some eyebrows, eh?

Harmon: Oh, does it ever. Look, I'm still waiting for someone to give me a real reason why LeSean McCoy is going to bounce back to the form we're used to seeing, other than "but he's going to get a lot of carries". He was second in the NFL in carries just last year, after all. McCoy's running was much less efficient last season than in years past. Despite only losing two carries from his 2013 total, McCoy ran for 288 less yards in 2014. His yards-per-carry figure dropped almost a full yard, and he only scored five times. Now he heads to a team that will see plenty of stacked boxes with an abysmal quarterback situation, a worse offensive line than last year's Eagles and piloted by a coordinator who consistently finishes in the bottom in terms of plays ran. If you scratch the name off, this is the profile of a third or fourth-round fantasy pick ... Well, that was a word vomit. Sorry, Shek. Let's just go right along to Round 3.


Franchise: Take a breath, friend. It will all be okay. After all, it's not one of your rosters we're talking about. But you raise some valid points when it comes to Shady's value. Moving on ... Looking at the Round 3 picks, Forsett went a little earlier than I'd expect. He is setup for another big year in Baltimore, but early third round is too rich for my liking, especially in a standard-scoring league. He's much more desirable in PPR formats. I have to say the steal of this round is A.J. Green. The fact that he fell to Akbar in the third is great value for his team that already includes Bell and Murray.

Harmon: I'm really liking the way Akbar's team is stacking up. Along the same lines, man, MJD put on a clinic of how to start zero-RB. He snagged Dez Bryant and Calvin Johnson, only to follow them up here with DeAndre Hopkins. All three have a chance to lead the NFL in targets, making this team a tough one to contend with. Just so Dameshek doesn't hate me, I have to say I love Mike Evans in Round 3. His touchdown ceiling may be higher than any other wide receiver in the league, and could easily finish in the top 10. Brandin Cooks at 26th overall is the only pick I balked at in this round.


Franchise: I think Matt "Money" Smith and Akbar reached for signal-callers in this round with Brees and Manning respectively, but like I mentioned back in Round 1 with Luck, a quarterback holds more weight in a standard 10-team league like this one. I love Marcas Grant's selection of Jordan Matthews here as his WR1 on top of a solid RB foundation that includes Charles, Anderson and Miller. This might be the earliest I've seen Abdullah go in any draft this season. Rank is taking a chance there, but it's a chance that could pay off big-time.

Harmon: I'm a big fan of Abdullah in Round 4. It's time to be bold, with the national audience catching up to the Lions' rookie. I also think Frank Gore in this round is a nice value. Given that MJD went with a heavy receiver start, he'll be counting on RB1 numbers from Gore, and I think he delivers. Elsewhere, I cannot get behind Brees in Round 4 this year. That team was decimated, and I don't see how you can honestly project him for the numbers he usually posts, when you consider his age and new weapons

Franchise: Poor Drew Brees. I feel like we're all so hard on him and it's like what did he ever do to us? Oh yeah, that's right ... he averaged a paltry 12.71 fantasy points per game over the first seven weeks of last season. Get this guy outta here! Onto Round 5!


Harmon: Once again, I've got to raise a glass to MJD. There's reason to question, but taking the risk on Joseph Randle in the fifth-round is a fine investment. If it works out behind that offensive line, he'll have a big season. MJD is building a very complimentary roster, which is super important. How do you feel about Davante Adams this early? The fifth-round seems like a fair price, but I'm not sure. This was a dicey round with a few reaches in my book, honestly, so maybe it's worth the risk.

Franchise: Obviously, Adams is not Jordy Nelson. But he's a talented receiver who is learning from some of the best in the NFL and if he is truly slotting into Nelson's role in Green Bay, I think Round 5 is amazing value for him. As we've heard many times, Aaron Rodgers is the type of quarterback who lifts those around him so I'm excited to see how it all works out sans Nelson. By the way, Koh has now drafted THREE Packers players. If that's not a recipe for success, I'm not sure what is.

Analysis: Definitely a good case to be made. Things get interesting here in the mid-rounds, so let's kick it off to Round 6.


Harmon: You know I have to give some love to Gelhar's Allen Robinson pick to get this round started. This is where you need to be aggressive to start getting your guys, and I think Gelhar and others clearly took that approach. I like where it took Marcas (John Brown) and Dameshek (Chris Ivory). However, I think that same approach led to mistakes from James Koh (Tevin Coleman) and Money (Todd Gurley).

Franchise: I was just talking to Marcas about his John Brown pick. That might be the earliest that I've seen him selected, but I think people are sleeping on this guy and letting him fall too far. In a competitive league like this, you really do have to go get the guys you want. I do think Koh reached for Coleman here especially with guys like Ivory, Doug Martin and Ryan Mathews still on the board at that point. Sometimes you've got to take risks but in Round 6 I'm still looking for more consistent and proven players.

Harmon: Marcas is bold, and that's the way you win. Don't be a prisoner to ADP. Last note from me on Round 6, I'd be more excited about Spiller here if this were a PPR league, but Akbar still got fine value with the final pick of this round. There's a 90-catch ceiling in Spiller's range of outcomes, and I can't turn away from that upside, even in a standard format.

Franchise: I'll take a 90-catch ceiling in the sixth round all day. Let's check out Round 7.


Franchise: This round was pretty #strong on all fronts. A few picks that stand out here are Martavis Bryant (Fabiano) and Arian Foster (Gelhar). I believe the draft took place mere moments before news of Bryant's pending 4-game suspension broke, so I'm sure Fabs wasn't too happy to hear about that. But hey, four games, four shmames, amirite? The guy is just a monster when he's on the field. Even if he's back in Week 5 he should be able to contribute in a big way. Then, when Rank scooped Doug Martin, Gelhar wasn't happy about it but he managed to get Foster at the end of the round, which worked out. After the draft, news that Foster could be back as soon as Week 2 dropped and justified the selection. That's something I think he can live with.

Harmon: I like Bryant's value here in the seventh round, even with the suspension. I've been taking him happily in the fifth all summer, so a two round drop for four missed games seems pretty fair. Fabiano also isn't counting on him to be a weekly contributor, so I love the pick. Also definitely down with Gelher plucking Foster here. His other running backs, beyond his starters, have low ceilings, so Foster could be the X-factor that wins him this league. Getting an RB1 in Round 7 is a major discount. Anytime someone takes Travis Kelce, especially this late, I'm going to like it. Kelce could easily outscore Jimmy Graham to be the number-two fantasy tight end this year; he's just that talented. MJD's starting lineup is absolutely stacked, and he's played this draft very well thus far. Let's see if he adds some good depth later on.

Franchise: Totally agree that MJD is building a powerhouse. I also think Koh is getting great value here with Brandon Marshall and Matt "Money" Smith gets a bargain with Ryan Mathews. Two potential FLEX guys that could be difference makers. What's tickling your fancy in Round 8?


Harmon: I like most of the pass catchers that went in this round, starting with Charles Johnson at the top. Gelhar gets a guy who could produce fringe WR2 numbers as his fourth guy, not bad. Nelson Agholor here is fine value, as it sounds like he's all but locked up that number two wide receiver gig in Philly. Marcas goes bold again with Jordan Cameron here in Round 8, and it's a sneaky pick as my favorite of the round. Humor me for a second, but this is a player that was going in the third and fourth round of last year's drafts, and now he's in a superior offense, with a way better quarterback. Of course there's the concussion issue, and that is very real, but this four round discount is still insane value when you factor in the improved situation.

Franchise: I'm a fan on the "wait as long as possible to get a TE" strategy if I don't scoop Gronk early. A guy like Cameron might have a bounce-back year if he can stay healthy but there are a lot of other very capable targets in Miami so that concerns me. I'm digging the Isaiah Crowell (Dameshek) and Joique Bell (Harrison) picks here. Nobody has taken the lead job in Cleveland yet and I think the Crow will get his share of scoring chances. Bell is being left out to dry with all the Ameer Abdullah hype, but it's mere speculation that the rookie will take over the No. 1 back role in Detroit.

Harmon: Elsa has some words for you and the five others still in the Joique Bell support group. But before I make anymore Disney references, let's just go to Round 9. What grabs you first here?


Franchise: The first thing that raises a red flag for me is the Knile Davis pick by Koh. Sure, Davis is a clear-cut backup to Jamaal Charles, but handcuff in Round 9? Surely there are better upside options still on the board. Akbar's Roddy White pick is questionable as well. I'm avoiding White this year -- he's an aging veteran on a clear decline and had elbow surgery a few days ago. Too much risk there.

Harmon: Totally agree on White, there's not much left for him. Also, this was a pretty rough round for running backs all around. I can't see the value in taking Blue, Davis, Williams, Cobb or McFadden in a single-digit round. at least Devonta Freeman and LeGarrette Blount have shots to actually start for the majority of the season. They were my favorite RB grabs in Round 9. Otherwise, Ben Roethlisberger and Julius Thomas were the best picks of the round. Elliot snagged a guy I have as potential top 3 quarterback, and Rank capitalized on people overreacting to Thomas' move to Jacksonville. Both selections were steals.

Franchise: Yeah, Harrison and Rank really made out like bandits with their picks. I'd say they won Round 9. Where are your eyes drawn first in Round 10?


Harmon:Mike Wallace was the first pick that stood out. I know we're supposed to hate him because the Dolphins overpaid for him several years ago, but he is still a good receiver. He just scored 10 touchdowns on a team that barely knew what to do with him. I prefer Charles Johnson to him when it comes to Vikings receivers, but Wallace is a fine value in the double digit rounds. I also dig Danny Woodhead and Duke Johnson in this round. Both are more valuable in PPR, but have big time potential to outperform these draft positions. Woodhead is the Chargers primary third-down and red zone running back. Johnson is the most talented Cleveland back, and could wrestle that job away with a few big preseason runs.

Franchise: If Duke Johnson hits, he's going to hit big. I really like this speculative pick by Fabiano. Nobody in the Cleveland backfield (Crowell, West) is a lock to keep their job if the rookie can come in and impress. Those are the kinds of upside guys you need to target. The Brady pick this late by Akbar could also payoff during the second half. Bridgewater was an interesting choice by Marcas since he already took Tannehill, but he can now wheel and deal at quarterback if he needs depth elsewhere. Sneaky, but smart.

Harmon: Nice mix of veteran and unproven talents in this round. What say you we move on to the next?


  1. Owen Daniles, TE, Denver Broncos - Gbajabiamila
    1. Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys - Harrison
    2. Coby Fleener, TE, Indianapolis Colts - Dameshek
    3. Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals - Koh
    4. Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Grant
    5. Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers - Rank
    6. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons - Fabiano
    7. Texans D/ST - "Money" Smith
    8. Seahawks D/ST - MJD
    9. Sam Bradford, QB, Philadelphia Eagles - Gelhar

Franchise: Some D/STs came off the board here in Round 11, with the obvious firsts being Houston and Seattle. Personally, I go for bench depth here and wait on defenses until the final rounds, but whatever floats your boat. Rank took a chance on Devin Funchess here which might be the most saucy pick of the round. Hype train or smoke screen, Harmon?

Harmon: The Funchess hype train is definitely out of control, but Rank didn't over spend much here. I wrote this week that the drafters assuming Funchess will take on all of Kelvin Benjamin's targets, and therefore taking him in the ninth round are gravely mistaken. But, like I said in the piece, the late rounds are fine place for Funchess. I wouldn't personally chase him here, but I won't fillet Rank for doing so. I have to say, all the drafters who wisely waited on quarterback's patience was rewarded in this round. Without reaching, Elliot, Fabiano and Gelhar all snagged quality starters in the 11th round.

Franchise: Agreed. The quarterback pool is so deep after the top tier that you can get value late. Don't tell Dameshek that though! Next up is a spicy Round 12 with some interesting sleepers.


  1. Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins - Gelhar
    1. Steve Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens - MJD
    2. Eddie Royal, WR, Chicago Bears - "Money" Smith
    3. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers - Fabiano
    4. Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers - Rank
    5. Dorial Green-Beckam, WR, Tennessee Titans - Grant
    6. Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants - Koh
    7. Bills D/ST - Dameshek
    8. Bishop Sankey, RB, Tennessee Titans - Harrison
    9. Jets D/ST - Gbajabiamila

Harmon:Eddie Royal and Kenny Stills are two sleeper receivers to get over 110 targets on their new teams. they'll give Money and Gelhar (respectively) more usable weeks than they expect. The forgotten veteran discount brought nice values for MJD with Steve Smith and for Koh with Eli Manning.

Franchise: I know many are down on Cam Newton this year, especially without Kelvin Benjamin. But it's hard to have a problem with getting the Carolina quarterback in Round 12. That's great value. I also like the flier Dorial Green-Beckham. One of these rookie wideouts is going to hit, and DGB is just a gigantic presence on the gridiron. Plus, who else does Tennessee have?

Harmon: Man, I hear you. But isn't it just the Titans way to give Harry Douglas or Hakeem Nicks 120 targets or more? Gross ... with that let's just move on to Round 13.


  1. Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos - Gbajabiamila
    1. Dolphins D/ST - Harrison
    2. Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Dameshek
    3. Stephen Gostkowski, K, New England Patriots - Koh
    4. Cardinals D/ST - Grant
    5. Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants - Rank
    6. Matt Jones, RB, Washington - Fabiano
    7. Adam Vinatieri, K, Indianapolis Colts - "Money" Smith
    8. Ty Montgomery, WR, Green Bay Packers - MJD
    9. Brian Quick, WR, St. Louis Rams - Gelhar

Franchise: Gotta give it to Fabiano for going with Matt Jones here. He's been running hard all preseason and could push Alfred Morris for third-down and goal-line carries at the very least.

Harmon: I like that too. I wasn't a fan of Jones' college film, but he looks rejuvenated in his NFL home. Other notes from me ... Vincent Jackson was quite the value here, and I'm a big fan of the Brian Quick selection from Gelhar. Lastly, two kickers? I don't care who they are, if you take a kicker before the last round, you're wrong.

Franchise: Hey man, kickers are people too. Wait ... are they? We'll have to check with our research team. I bet you're excited about Round 14!


  1. Packers D/ST - Gelhar
    1. Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings - MJD
    2. Branden Oliver, RB, San Diego Chargers - "Money" Smith
    3. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals - Fabiano
    4. Jeff Janis, WR, Green Bay Packers - Rank
    5. Crockett Gillmore, TE, Baltimore Ravens - Grant
    6. Jeremy Langford, RB, Chicago Bears - Koh
    7. Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts - Dameshek
    8. Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titanas - Harrison
    9. Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens - Gbajabiamila

Harmon: In some ways, I suppose. We've got a good mix of veterans that I still think will have starting weeks like Delanie Walker and Larry Fitzgerald, and potential sleepers like Jeff Janis and Crockett Gillmore.

Franchise: Yep, Gillmore is one of those deep sleeper guys who could have a breakout year in Baltimore. I also think Kyle Rudolph is a steal here for MJD who, to this point, has built an impressive team throughout. Kudos to Maurice!

Harmon: No doubt. NFL stud turned fantasy mastermind. Anyways, shall we close this out with Round 15?


Franchise: It's mostly just kickers and fliers here. And of course Fabs took a shot with Jason Witten. Like it or not Witten has been one of the most durable players in the NFL since he entered the league, but his fantasy ceiling is limited.

Harmon: I'll do you one better; Brandon LaFell really sticks out to me in this round. I know he will start the year on the PUP, but this is quite a fall. LaFell was the WR14 in fantasy from Weeks 4-17 once he picked up the offense. When he's healthy, there's no reason he can't maintain that pace this season. Rank's 15th rounds pick is a potential slam dunk, showing exactly why you just don't both picking a kicker or defense in your draft.

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